I’m a big fan of silence, to tell the truth. I’m halfway introverted and being alone, in the quiet, is usually like heaven for me.
Except for when it’s not.
I recently made a post about my PTSD and the abusive situation that I spent four and a half months of my life in. I spent months crafting that piece. I talked about writing it with my therapist. I kept it in my drafts for so long, editing it over and over, taking out detail after detail so it wouldn’t be “too much”, but it would be enough to paint the picture. Finally, on the national day of PTSD awareness, I decided I would wrap up my endless cycle of “should I?” and “can I?” and just get the thing done already.
I posted it, feeling confident and proud.
But barely two hours later, I took the post down. I felt bad. I felt bad that some family members had found out that way, I felt bad that I had shared the link on my personal Instagram for “the world” to see, and I felt bad that my ugliest truth was out there.
For about an hour, I was in total writer’s agony, walking the thin line between too much and the truth. I was afraid of what people were thinking, what they were saying, what the “repercussions” would be.
Then I remembered who the heck I am.
I literally exist to tell others to speak their stories. I have given up so much time and energy for the pursuit of my advocacy. If I don’t scream my truths from the rooftops, how can I ever expect anyone to hear them? How can I ever expect anyone to echo my call?
As I said earlier, I’m an introvert. I’m friends with the silence, except for when I’m writing. I need the world to understand that this is how I can get it out. This is how I set myself free. My words are rarely spoken aloud, but when I post them, when I print them, when I pin them down with a pen, then, and only then, am I heard.
This is my emancipation. This is the only way I would ever want anyone to find out. This is how I feel most content with sharing my story, with giving exactly what I want to give, and being entirely sure that every word is authentic and intentional.
I can sit with the quiet inside of me forever, I can let people try to keep me inside of it, I can fear judgement and backlash all I want. But it will just keep me hurting, and I know that, deep down. I know that the only way for me to free myself of my burdens is to write them. For some, it is in private conversations that this happens, or in meditation, or in exercise. But I know myself well enough to know that none of that works for me.
My stories are meant to be written, and they are not meant to be hidden from anyone, because they are true.
I will carve the outline of my memories into the cement and I will blow on it until it dries and I will not move, I will not smear it, not for anyone and not for anything. I own the copyrights to my life and I get to choose who I let in.
(Read that bolded section to yourself, if you need to. As many times as you need to).
We are the collection of our experiences, and our experiences should not ever hold any shame. We are flawed human beings, yet when someone else hurts us, the flaw does not fall on us. We have a right to take control of our perspectives and to announce them if that is the thing that will set us free.
So my “controversial” post (I use the term lightly, because it is literally just the truth) is back up. And you can read it here. And I really, really hope that you do.
Because I have been quiet long enough to know when my quiet is killing me.
And I have been speaking long enough to know that my vocalization is my liberation.